Self-Driving Accidents: Who’s to Blame?

Tesla, Uber, Apple, and other tech companies promise that self-driving cars are the future of driving and will save lives in the long term. Currently, however, the technology powering self-driving cars is a work in progress, and they continue to cause accidents across the country. As just one example, GM’s Cruise brand of self-driving cars recalled 950 of its vehicles after one of them ran over a pedestrian in San Francisco.

One of the critical legal questions that self-driving cars raise is who bears responsibility for a crash. That’s the subject of today’s blog from The Hayden Law Firm St. Louis Accident & Injury Lawyers. 

Potentially Liable Parties in St. Louis Self-Driving Car Accidents

One reason self-driving car accident cases are more complicated is that multiple parties may play a role in a crash. The potentially liable parties in a St. Louis self-driving car accident include:

  • The Vehicle Manufacturer: If the accident resulted from a defect in the vehicle’s design or manufacturing, the company that made the car might bear responsibility. This includes flaws in the vehicle’s hardware or any traditional components that failed and led to the accident.
  • The Software Developer: Many self-driving vehicles rely on complex algorithms and software for navigation and decision-making. If a software malfunction or poor design leads to an accident, the developer of this technology could be at fault.
  • The Other Driver: In incidents involving both self-driving and conventional vehicles, the human driver may be liable for a crash. If the other driver’s negligence – such as distracted driving or speeding – caused the accident, they may be liable.
  • The Owner or Operator of the Self-Driving Vehicle: Even if the vehicle operates autonomously, the owner or operator might share responsibility, especially if they failed to maintain the vehicle properly or ignored software updates and recalls that could prevent malfunctions.
  • Parts Manufacturers and Suppliers: If a specific component of the self-driving system, like sensors or cameras, failed due to a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer or supplier of that part might be liable.
  • Government Entities: Sometimes, the design, maintenance, or signage of roads can contribute to an accident. In such cases, the government entity responsible for road upkeep might share responsibility.

How We Can Help You After a Self-Driving Car Accident

At The Hayden Law Firm St. Louis Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand the intricate challenges that come with self-driving car accidents. These cases involve cutting-edge technology and a web of potentially liable parties. Our role is to demystify this process for you, providing clear, straightforward guidance every step of the way.

We take a thorough, personalized approach to these cases. We start by conducting a comprehensive investigation into your accident, examining every detail to build a strong foundation for your claim. This includes analyzing accident reports, vehicle data, and software logs, as well as consulting technology experts when necessary. Our aim is to construct a compelling case that clearly demonstrates the cause of the accident and identifies all the liable parties.

Most importantly, we’re here to support you through this challenging time. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming, especially when it involves such complex issues. We strive to alleviate that burden, handling all legal aspects of your claim so you can concentrate on your recovery. Call The Hayden Law Firm St. Louis Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (314) 480-3100 for a free consultation.